eBay Talk (5) Corot in primitive style

The most useful tip for eBay antique shopping is probably

“Do not believe what the seller says”.

eBay painting dealers know what they are selling, so whenever naive words have been used for description, it should be read with caution.

Here is an example:

“Lovely late, at least, 19thC. Oil painting on canvas with signature COROT , of what looks to be a French Chateau beyond a viaduct whilst sun is setting”. Well, I would not have blamed the seller if the contrived effort of pretending to be an amateur was not so obvious; after all, there are more fake Corot works in US alone than the total number of authenticated ones available in the world.

The dealer, however, showed that he has an account in artprice and listed Corot’s auction record. Artprice is not a cheap place to shop for auction record and he is at least richer and more involved than an amateur. But not accidentally he did not include any picture of the authenticated works, since even an outsider can tell the listed painting cannot be from the same person who painted the famous Souvenir de Mortefontaine in Louvre.

Yet in another place he correctly used the term “continental”. No mistake was made here: although continental would be certainly too far away from Barbizon school that Corot leaded, without further differentiation someone will buy it.

About Hui

Wang Hui lived from 1632 - 1717 and followed in the footprints of his great grandfathers, grandfather, father and uncles and learned painting at a very early age. He was later taught by two contemporary masters, Zhang Ke and Wang Shimin, who taught him to work in the tradition of copying famous Chinese paintings. This is most likely the reason why critics claim that his work is conservative and reflects the Yuan and Song traditions. One critic claimed that "his landscape paintings reflect his nostalgic attachment to classical Chinese aesthetics. Along with the other Wangs, Wang Hui helped to perpetuate the tradition of copying the ancient masters rather than creating original work.

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